Rampage Review: A Monstrosity In All The Wrong Areas

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
April 11th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Rampage

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On April 11, 2018
Last modified:April 11, 2018

Summary:

I didn’t hate Rampage, but it’s not good in any stretch of the imagination with a frankly appalling script and void character make it not worth the ticket admission

Review of: Rampage

Reviewed by:
Rating:

2
On April 11, 2018
Last modified:April 11, 2018

Summary:

I didn’t hate Rampage, but it’s not good in any stretch of the imagination with a frankly appalling script and void character make it not worth the ticket admission

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Rampage Review

Warner Bros. Pictures

Global icon Dwayne Johnson headlines the action adventure “Rampage,” directed by Brad Peyton. Johnson stars as primatologist Davis Okoye, a man who keeps people at a distance but shares an unshakable bond with George, the extraordinarily intelligent, incredibly rare albino silverback gorilla who has been in his care since he rescued the young orphan from poachers. But a rogue genetic experiment gone awry mutates this gentle ape into a raging creature of enormous size. To make matters worse, it’s soon discovered there are other similarly altered animals. As these newly created alpha predators tear across North America, destroying everything in their path, Okoye teams with discredited geneticist Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) to secure an antidote, fighting his way through an ever-changing battlefield, not only to halt a global catastrophe but to save the fearsome creature that was once his friend.

Rampage was a dumb series of arcade video games, created by Midway Games where humans transformed into gigantic monsters and destroy cities avoiding military authorities in the process. These games were fun dumb experiences and provided countless hours of entrainment. But can that transition into the Hollywood realm? Without feeling like another video game dud. The premise of Rampage is dumb and straightforward, making Hollywood’s attempt at bringing into theatres a more reasonable and inoffensive idea.

2018 brings us Rampage, which pushes the golden man of the moment Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the role of generic zookeeper gone commando. Following last years surprise hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Rock lands in another video game related summer tentpole. He delivers the typical bog-standard charismatic performance, with little no deviation from what makes him such an iconic actor. Offering solid bang for your buck.

Johnson stars as primatologist  Davis Okoye (a pretty random name), who heads an anti-poaching unit in the Southern California wildlife preserve and who looks after his best friend George a silverback gorilla. Davis does not get much character development thus making his connection with George feel unearned and pointless in the long term.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Meanwhile, a space station belonging to an evil corporation called Energy explodes, and a deadly serum kept aboard--a new formula used for genetic editing--hurtles to Earth in three places, including the zoo where George gets infected with it. Alongside George, a crocodile and wolf get affected by the formula making them grow in size. Exhibit aggressive behaviors, turning the governments on a massive manhunt for these rampaging beasts. Engines CEO Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman) and her brother (Jake Lacy) begin to use Chicago as a signal to draw monsters into creating a rampage to save George from evil.

Story continues below

I love old school kanji films, but nothing about Rampage felt earned instead just goes loud without having that signature tone seen in the classic genre. It lacks the heart in the right places, instead feels like a lame viechle for Johnson to run away from collapsing buildings with a massive machine gun. Director Brad Peyton (who last teamed with Johnson to smash up the West Coast in San Andreas), wants the audience to have fun but misses in understanding what makes monster films so enduring. CGI is heavy and bloated, making everything feel like an unfinished video game.

Rampage main issues lie within the script, which must have been made with an internet randomizer, with the shadowy hero and know it all heroine. A sinister corporation who wants to destroy animals? Check there. There is not much effort given to the world surrounding these gigantic creatures wrecking havoc. Nothing makes sense, but was anyone interested in that part of the games? It’s shameful Warner Bros. Pictures didn’t want to be more creative.

The moments of pulse pumping action, can’t keep Rampage from being a showreel for something more significant. I would have preferred a greater emphasis on the animals because the world created is nothing more than a tedious slog void of any character. Naomi Harris is wasted with the script just using her to spout exposition for two hours, a complete waste of her impressive range. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the strangest addition, feeling like he just stumbled into the city from The Walking Dead and came at odds with the overall tone.

I didn’t hate Rampage, but it’s not good in any stretch of the imagination with a frankly appalling script and void character make it not worth the ticket admission. The Warner Bros. Pictures execs that greenlit Rampage must have been on another planet because this is an over-ambitious project without reason. Don’t see this one because it will melt your brain for two and half hours, just play the excellent arcade game.

Rampage

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I didn’t hate Rampage, but it’s not good in any stretch of the imagination with a frankly appalling script and void character make it not worth the ticket admission

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